This page is part of an archive of historical details from existing or defunct brass band websites. This is being maintained to provide a record of this information in the event of a band folding, its website disappearing or other loss of the historical record. Where possible, and appropriate, the information cached will be updated from time to time - and any corrections or updates are welcome.
Founded in 1850 and based in the Birdwell and Hoyland coal mining areas, it was formerly called the Wharncliffe Silkstone Colliery Band until the early sixties. The band then became the Rockingham Colliery Band until the pit closed in the late seventies. A local engineering firm, Osborn Steel, became the new sponsor and helped to give the band a firm financial footing by purchasing a full set of new instruments and uniforms.
In 1981 Rockingham Band played in the Second Section and were placed second in each of the three national contests, winning may other minor competitions including the BBC Radio Entertainments Contest. This was followed up in 1982 by their winning not only the qualifying rounds but also the three national titles: the Championship of Great Britain in London, the Pontins National Championship in Wales and the C.I.S.W.O National Finals in Blackpool. This unique 'treble' earned the band not only national recognition, but a place alongside the best bands in the world in the Championship Section. As a premier band, Rockingham have made several broadcasts on BBC Radio 2's 'Listen to the Band', appeared on Independent Television and even made a 'pop' record.
In 1984 the band was sponsored by W. Harrison Transport Ltd for a short period, during which time the band made its first trip abroad with an eight-day concert tour of West Germany. This was followed a year later by a further tour of Belgium. The band remained in the Championship Section for a number of years, winning the Pontins Championship Section in October 1987. The following year, the band gained second place in the Yorkshire Area Qualifying Round and took their place with the elite brass bands in the National Championships of Great Britain held in the Albert Hall, London. The band went on to win other minor contests and undertook some prestigious engagements. Rockingham maintained this standard until 1987, when it lost its sponsorship and with players not coming through the school system due to the decline in teaching music, the band hit an all-time low with only seven players remaining.
In 2003 the band began to reform and with a (nearly) full compliment of players the band has resumed a full round of engagements and began contesting again in the Second Section under the leadership of Frank Hoyland.